Search found 139 matches

by RetiredArtist
Sat May 23, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA warns on negative yields on money market funds
Replies: 71
Views: 4670

Re: TIAA warns on negative yields on money market funds

Just curious--what are the mechanics when the interest rate on your money market fund goes negative? I guess they take $$ out of your account? Is that a tax deductible loss?
by RetiredArtist
Wed May 20, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 65, Medicaire questions
Replies: 68
Views: 4087

Re: Turning 65, Medicaire questions

Big Dog, we said the same thing about the birthday rule for Medigap plans in CA. You can only switch to the same or lesser plan. So you can't choose a lower benefit Medigap plan when you are a chipper 65, and switch to a plan with more benefits if/when your medical needs increase. With the RX plan, ...
by RetiredArtist
Wed May 20, 2020 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Covid impact: CA license renewal and REAL ID
Replies: 13
Views: 1001

Re: Covid impact: CA license renewal and REAL ID

Same as above, I thought it did not make sense from safety stand point, even if DMV re-opens. Standing in line for 2 hours in the same closed environment? No thanks. I went ahead and renewed my regular one. If I travel by air in late 2021, I will just take my passport. Renew it in person when it be...
by RetiredArtist
Wed May 20, 2020 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Covid impact: CA license renewal and REAL ID
Replies: 13
Views: 1001

Re: Covid impact: CA license renewal and REAL ID

Yup, my appointment to renew my CA drivers license was for mid May. The appointment never showed up online as canceled, even though my branch was not one that re-opened. I called to ask, and was told not to worry. The nice representative said 120 day extensions for summer expirations were likely. Sh...
by RetiredArtist
Wed May 20, 2020 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 65, Medicaire questions
Replies: 68
Views: 4087

Re: Turning 65, Medicaire questions

If you decide you don't like the supplement approach, you can revert to a Medicare Advantage plan during annual open enrollment without insurance underwriting. You can't go the other way (i.e. if you start with Medicare Advantage, you will need underwriting to change to a Medigap supplement). That ...
by RetiredArtist
Sat May 16, 2020 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small businesses stopping employees from getting Pandemic payments?
Replies: 54
Views: 3330

Re: Small businesses stopping employees from getting Pandemic payments?

Anakin, Thank you for your perspective. I am indeed one of thousands of healthcare workers working in the frontlines. I think I have a good understanding of the ramifications of choosing to go to work in a nonessential occupation. I think your narrative of OPs relative “sitting at home” and “plotti...
by RetiredArtist
Sat May 02, 2020 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property
Replies: 158
Views: 16222

Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

2pedals wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 1:28 pm
What's stopping them placing a portable restroom in your yard, deck or patio? :shock:
This happened to a relative of mine! Without his permission! The porta-potty was for a lengthy remodel next door. It took a year to get it removed.
by RetiredArtist
Sat May 02, 2020 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior paint for small project (1-coat) – suggestions?
Replies: 12
Views: 716

Re: Interior paint for small project (1-coat) – suggestions?

I painted scenery for a living, but also have an old house. If your wood stairs are not new, you should wash (use something like TSP), rinse, & allow to dry first. Or you could lightly sand (and then vacuum) the steps. I would do a water-base prime coat for adhesion (Zinnser 123 or similar) and then...
by RetiredArtist
Sat May 02, 2020 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lump sum or DCA 100k into VFIAX
Replies: 23
Views: 1432

Re: Lump sum or DCA 100k into VFIAX

I have lumped & lost (over a few years, not decades), but was consoled by tax loss harvesting, which I learned about on this website.
by RetiredArtist
Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a low cost CADD program
Replies: 11
Views: 480

Re: Recommend a low cost CADD program

I've used AutoCadd for many years. Learning curve and price is steep. The simplest yet robust program that I used was Datacad. It was able to do simple and complex as needed. There are far simpler more modern cadd programs dedicated for architectural use. The difference would be how much you need t...
by RetiredArtist
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many paid for kids' college?
Replies: 282
Views: 13463

Re: How many paid for kids' college?

Working in the arts, I have an aversion to debt. My college education was mostly funded by scholarships (back in the day there were California State Scholarships, even for private colleges) with much appreciated help from my far from well off mom, & from my grandparents. I did not take out the tiny ...
by RetiredArtist
Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1588
Views: 128576

Re: Masks (medical or N95) availability

Best thing to do is stay home, if you can. Leave the N-95's for health care workers. You could sew surgical style cloth masks for yourself. There are Facebook groups with patterns. Homemade masks, if fitted & used correctly, may be better than nothing. They come in sizes, & are single use. You could...
by RetiredArtist
Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.
Replies: 684
Views: 55504

Re: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.

bayview wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:01 am
Kleenex (I’ve still seen it on shelves) + Cottonelle FreshCare Flushable Wipes, aka “butt wipes”
Our Public Utility Department advises that Kleenex, paper towels, flushable wipes will clog your drains. You could use them & throw in trash, like diapers.
by RetiredArtist
Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: double-side tape to secure rug to floor - recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 963

Re: double-side tape to secure rug to floor - recommendations?

In my weird work life, we used all kinds of tape, from conveyor belt tape, to automobile striping tape, to 1 hour masking tape. (The longer you leave removeable tape on, the less removeable it is.) A tape that adheres well, can be removed without leaving a mark, and is re-positionable does not exist...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: deducting home office equipment?
Replies: 4
Views: 444

deducting home office equipment?

Let's say you are an employee, & are instructed by your company to work from home, due to state of emergency declaration in CA. Working for hours with your laptop on dining room table is painful. Would buying an office chair & a standing desk be deductible? Would you have to depreciate expenses over...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1588
Views: 128576

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

I live in SF Bay Area and there are well over a dozen confirmed cases in my county. In addition to that, there are many suspected cases which, due to the test shortage, have not been confirmed and have not made the national news. The rumor mill is EXTREMELY active here, but much is fact, not rumor....
by RetiredArtist
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4283

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

RetiredArtist wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:40 am
I agree, stockpiling water is not rational. But the water might be needed after earthquake/fire.
Edited to add- our tap water is high quality, which is not always the case.
by RetiredArtist
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4283

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

I agree, stockpiling water is not rational. But the water might be needed after earthquake/fire.
by RetiredArtist
Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fine Art: Appraisal and insurance concerns
Replies: 24
Views: 1000

Re: Fine Art: Appraisal and insurance concerns

It's just as well to have renter's insurance.
How do you know the value of your piece of art?
Some of the auction houses like Sotheby's have free appraisal days.
For insurance, you will want replacement value, rather than auction or sales value.
by RetiredArtist
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Francisco with a Family
Replies: 90
Views: 5641

Re: San Francisco with a Family

I was born & raised in East Bay, and have lived in SF, for last 40 years. I raised a kid here, & that kid is doing the same. Do you live in the suburbs now? What kind of weather do you like? (summers run from foggy near the ocean to hot in the East Bay) How old are your kids? How long a commute can ...
by RetiredArtist
Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?
Replies: 157
Views: 11593

Re: Had a baby and received generous check from her great grandparents. Now what?

Of course you can gift $15,000/year to anyone, no tax reporting required. But it gets tricky when you write a check out to a minor. I am gifting my daughter & son in law $15,000/year. (Basically, I received an inheritance that I want to share with them.) I also wanted to gift my toddler grandson. I ...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel
Replies: 18
Views: 1728

Re: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel

I put in a new shower before major surgery. I love my handheld shower head that adjusts on a vertical bar. My architect was adamant that it would not serve as a grab bar, but I do use it to steady myself. Grab bars must support 300 pounds, but to me the construction looks like they would support 60...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel
Replies: 18
Views: 1728

Re: 12 x 5 bathroom remodel

I put in a new shower before major surgery. I love my handheld shower head that adjusts on a vertical bar. My architect was adamant that it would not serve as a grab bar, but I do use it to steady myself. Grab bars must support 300 pounds, but to me the construction looks like they would support 600...
by RetiredArtist
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Semi-complicated EE Savings Bond tax question
Replies: 9
Views: 713

Re: Semi-complicated EE Savings Bond tax question

My recollection from 3 years back is that Treasury Dept did not send 1099 for inherited E bonds. I had to log onto Treasury Direct account and download it.
by RetiredArtist
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:43 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Sad news: LadyGeek's husband has passed
Replies: 352
Views: 26548

Re: Sad news: LadyGeek's husband has passed

I too am sorry for your loss, and that your husband had to experience dementia.
And I love that this forum has a LadyGeek moderator.
by RetiredArtist
Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updating breaker box from 1970's - AFCI
Replies: 29
Views: 2476

Re: Updating breaker box from 1970's - AFCI

I want to add, if you have an older Federal Pacific electric panel, the breakers may fail to trip:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... story.html
by RetiredArtist
Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller: Homeownership is a bad investment
Replies: 480
Views: 65197

Re: Shiller: Homeownership is a bad investment

I didn't buy my home as an investment. I bought it to live in, after being evicted twice, when buildings where I rented were sold. I bought because it was hard to rent with dogs. I was also tired of clueless, amateur landlords. I bought at peak interest rates, which must have depressed the property ...
by RetiredArtist
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lingering paint odor
Replies: 35
Views: 1964

Re: Lingering paint odor

I am a retired painter (from the entertainment industry). Performers can be very fussy about paint smells. I have a few comments: Whether paint drying smells "bad" is subjective, although if it gives you a headache, that is real. Some folks have a more acute sense of smell than others. Paint spoils ...
by RetiredArtist
Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?
Replies: 28
Views: 2724

Re: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?

Again, my thanks to all who answered. After some online reading, here is my takeaway, in an email to my daughter: Dear Daughter, A can of worms has been opened. It turns out that it was incorrect to deposit my 2017 and 2018 gift checks for the Toddler into your account.  A joint account with you, a...
by RetiredArtist
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?
Replies: 28
Views: 2724

Re: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?

The bank is not wrong but your daughter is. She should be depositing the check in an account for the child, usually a UTMA account. The gift is to the child and should not be appropriated by the parent. Gill What if the gift money is used to pay for preschool each year? Is an UTMA account still nee...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?
Replies: 28
Views: 2724

Re: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?

The bank is not wrong but your daughter is. She should be depositing the check in an account for the child, usually a UTMA account. The gift is to the child and should not be appropriated by the parent. Gill What if the gift money is used to pay for preschool each year? Is an UTMA account still nee...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?
Replies: 28
Views: 2724

Re: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?

Thank you everyone for the replies. I believe the gift $ to grandchild is being used for his expenses, as opposed to accumulating. That is why it seems unnecessary for grandchild to have his own bank account, whether custodial or joint. Childcare and preschool are very expensive here, more then $15k...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?
Replies: 28
Views: 2724

How to deposit a gift check made out to a child?

I have been gifting $15k/year to my grandchild, as well as $15k each to his parents. The last few years my daughter has simply deposited the grandchild check in her account. This year, Wells Fargo is insisting that a joint account be opened in my daughter's & toddler grandchild's names. Is this a ne...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much to tip the cleaning lady
Replies: 76
Views: 5366

Re: how much to tip the cleaning lady

The super nice woman who cleans my house comes every two weeks. I give her an extra payment at Christmas. And every year I raise the amount I pay her, per the Department of Labor cost of living increase for my area. If the increase is 1.78% do you break out the change jar? :mrgreen: I'm actually th...
by RetiredArtist
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50 Next Year - Should I Join AARP?
Replies: 105
Views: 8557

Re: 50 Next Year - Should I Join AARP?

So far, United Healthcare's medigap policy has been the cheapest choice in my urban area. I was under the impression that an AARP membership was required for that medigap policy. Not a big deal at $16/year, but I will double check.
by RetiredArtist
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much to tip the cleaning lady
Replies: 76
Views: 5366

Re: how much to tip the cleaning lady

The super nice woman who cleans my house comes every two weeks. I give her an extra payment at Christmas. And every year I raise the amount I pay her, per the Department of Labor cost of living increase for my area.
by RetiredArtist
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?
Replies: 85
Views: 5759

Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

My favorite charity is my local food bank. They give out $5 of food for every dollar donated. My local newspaper runs a charity that makes one time grants to people with a financial emergency- often people in danger of losing housing due to medical expenses. I volunteer and donate at my local animal...
by RetiredArtist
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting SAN FRANCISCO
Replies: 53
Views: 5020

Re: Visiting SAN FRANCISCO

I live in SF, almost 3rd generation, raised a kid here. Sadly, SF is sketchier than it used to be. I'm a little old lady, & I feel pretty safe, though I am careful. Be aware of your surroundings & keep your phone in your pocket as much as possible. Don't leave anything in your car, not even in the t...
by RetiredArtist
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mechanic's lien filed - solar install
Replies: 18
Views: 2767

Re: Mechanic's lien filed - solar install

Yup, in California, you are advised to get releases of liability from all subcontractors before you make final payment to general contractor. How would you even know who all the subcontractors are? I don't think you can file a lien against a property unless you have a written contact with the owner...
by RetiredArtist
Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mechanic's lien filed - solar install
Replies: 18
Views: 2767

Re: Mechanic's lien filed - solar install

Yup, in California, you are advised to get releases of liability from all subcontractors before you make final payment to general contractor.
by RetiredArtist
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Los Angeles to San Francisco Roadtrip
Replies: 29
Views: 2269

Re: Los Angeles to San Francisco Roadtrip

When you get to San Francisco, don't leave ANYTHING in your car, not even in the trunk.
by RetiredArtist
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lost ability to contact Vanguard Rep online??
Replies: 1
Views: 466

Lost ability to contact Vanguard Rep online??

Sometime in the last year, the link to make a phone appointment with my Flagship Rep disappeared. I assumed this service had been discontinued, so I sent Secure Messages instead. This was less effective, as a random rep would phone me at a random time, often when I couldn’t pick up. Today the Secure...
by RetiredArtist
Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?
Replies: 76
Views: 5122

Re: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?

Most artists understand frugality, but are not conversant with the language of finance. So over the decades, I had fee-only advisors. I saw them every few years. The last one I worked with was amazing. She didn't just advise; she taught me how to do it myself, at least on an amateur basis. She retir...
by RetiredArtist
Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?
Replies: 40
Views: 3001

Re: Enlarge shower to include bench, walk-in tub, or both?

For my first knee replacement, I had a plastic white "bath board" that fit over a clawfoot tub. Very safe, because you sit & then pivot on your butt. But ugly, & water escaped about half the time. Before my second knee replacement, I shoehorned a shower into a tiny half bath. The 6" tall shower curb...
by RetiredArtist
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A great example of single stock risk
Replies: 51
Views: 5988

Re: A great example of single stock risk

If a single stock is a large part of your portfolio, wouldn't you follow it in the news? PG&E had a big gas line explosion in San Bruno in 2010, due to incompetence if not greed. I think this was an early warning to shareholders. This article in today's Chronicle reviews PG&E problems. It does not m...
by RetiredArtist
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader
Replies: 51
Views: 2801

Re: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader

Take your kid to the local library & ask the children's librarian.
by RetiredArtist
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice
Replies: 27
Views: 3613

Re: Elderly parents in assisted living with new high costs; seeking advice

Thanks Celia, your comment brought up this question too -- can her need of personal aides (not medical professionals) be considered a medical expense/deduction? The facility would not allow her to stay without them and I maybe her doctor would sign off on it. Not sure. Most of this year's assisted ...
by RetiredArtist
Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why does my mom need a home appraisal?
Replies: 26
Views: 2514

Re: Why does my mom need a home appraisal?

Absent big remodels, under Prop 13, you and your dad's CA property taxes surely increased by the same percentage.